2010 story of the year

From the UK press …  truly a stunning article.

I don’t trust communists, and this article just reinforces that belief for me.

WTF are these chicom bastards up to?

 

Ghost Towns of China

 

Elaborate public buildings and open spaces are completely unused, with the exception of a few government vehicles near communist authority offices.

Some estimates put the number of empty homes at as many as 64 million, with up to 20 new cities being built every year in the country’s vast swathes of free land.

The photographs have emerged as a Chinese government think tank warns that the country’s real estate bubble is getting worse, with property prices in major cities overvalued by as much as 70 per cent.

Ghost city: Kangbashi was meant to be the urban centre for wealthy coal-mining community Ordos and home to its one million workers, but its roads are eerily empty and the houses stand vacant.

 

Much, much  more at the UK Daily Mail:        Ghost Towns of China

Busy news day

Lots going on today.  Here are a few headlines for your consideration …


China removed as top priority for spies

The decision downgrades China from “Priority 1” status, alongside Iran and North Korea, to “Priority 2,” which covers specific events such as the humanitarian crisis after the Haitian earthquake …

Obama Cuts Deal that Will Reduce Social Security, Medicare and all Entitlements
“While the Massachusetts voters were casting their ballots to install the upstart Republican Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, President Obama was hammering out an agreement with Democratic leaders to support a plan to issue an executive order to cut entitlements, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

SCOTUS rolls back McCain-Feingold
Writing for the court’s five conservatives, Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled that a central provision of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance act violated the First Amendment by restricting corporations from funding political messages in the run-up to elections.

Pelosi: House lacks votes to pass the Senate version of Obamacare
Pelosi threw cold water on the idea that the House could muster enough support to pass the Senate’s health bill, which includes a number of provisions liberals in the House find distasteful.

Obama looks to limit bank size, seeks new regulation
President Barack Obama, eager to harness and redirect voter anger over bank bailouts, is ramping up his war on Wall Street Thursday by pushing tougher regulation of big banks.

Is the market on the brink of a major correction?
Analysis from CNBC

And, finishing up with a nice opinion piece, “Rethinking Bush”
Why Didn’t the President Fight Back Against the MSM?

WSJ: cyberspies penetrate US power grid

from Wall Street Journal:
Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven’t sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.

“The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid,” said a senior intelligence official. “So have the Russians.”

The espionage appeared pervasive across the U.S. and doesn’t target a particular company or region, said a former Department of Homeland Security official. “There are intrusions, and they are growing,” the former official said, referring to electrical systems. “There were a lot last year.”

Many of the intrusions were detected not by the companies in charge of the infrastructure but by U.S. intelligence agencies, officials said. Intelligence officials worry about cyber attackers taking control of electrical facilities, a nuclear power plant or financial networks via the Internet.

Authorities investigating the intrusions have found software tools left behind that could be used to destroy infrastructure components, the senior intelligence official said. He added, “If we go to war with them, they will try to turn them on.”

Obama moves toward trade war with China

President Obama’s Treasury Secretary nominee, Tim Geithner made statement today which will most certainly catch the attention of China. In a written response to questions submitted at his confirmation hearing, Geithner accused the Chinese government of currency manipulation.

“President Obama — backed by the conclusions of a broad range of economists — believes that China is manipulating its currency,” … {snip}
As an Illinois senator, Obama had co-sponsored legislation aimed at changing how the US government formally determines currency manipulation and authorizes new trade reprisal measures.

During the presidential campaign, he had accused China of suppressing its currency’s true strength to make its exports more competitive, echoing some US lawmakers who blamed the snowballing US trade deficit with China on the weak yuan and have sought sanctions against Beijing. AFP

This is a serious and fundamental policy shift, signaling a move against the Chinese. It is one that will have consequences, both seen and unforeseen. We can expect higher prices for imported goods, and a reduction in trade as China retaliates. We can expect fewer bond purchases by China which will drive bond prices down and boost yields – which, eventually, would cause borrowing costs for residential and some corporate customers to increase. The unforeseen consequences may actually make deflation more of a problem instead of less, as deleveraging and the unwinding of debt continues to impair corporate balance sheets.

I’ve got a bad feeling about this. I think we may have just passed a mile marker of some kind. The serious recession that we have endured for the last year may have just shifted into a 30’s style depression, fueled by bumbling politicians and an unnecessary trade war.

++++

This is the World Famous Friday Open Thread, a free speech zone. Track backs welcome.
WFFOT: Feeling all hopey-changey yet?

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisTrackposted to Blog @ MoreWhat.com, Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Allie is Wired, Political Byline, Woman Honor Thyself, Walls of the City, The World According to Carl, DragonLady’s World, The Pink Flamingo, Leaning Straight Up, Democrat=Socialist, and Conservative Cat, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Frogmarch, part 2

Yesterday I posted about the Chinese frogswarm in Sichuan Province, and a similar frogswarm in Bakersfield, CA.

Well, the frogs are marching again in Sichuan

For the second time this month, residents observed a huge migration of frogs and toads, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Residents of Zunyi, a southern city that saw little damage in China’s huge earthquake last week, noticed the amphibians’ march yesterday, Xinhua said, quoting Vice Mayor Zeng Yongtao.

Thousands of residents camped out in fear overnight in downtown Zunyi, the news agency said.

“We don’t know what else we can do,” Zunyi resident Liu Yong was quoted as saying.

A coincidence, a sign of the times, I dunno.

We live in interesting times.

Hong King schools close amid flu fears

Update from ABC News“Since March 6, health officials have recorded nine flu outbreaks,mostly at schools, affecting 532 people in the territory of nearly 7 million”

also, NP’s amyjudd reports

All kindergartens and junior schools in Hong Kong have closed early for their Easter holiday, after a flu-like illness killed three children.

The Education Bureau described the move as a “precautionary measure”.

More than 30 students from one school have showed flu-like symptoms and three children have died from apparently similar illnesses in recent weeks.


Experts are investigating a link to either bird flu or Sars
, a respiratory disease that hit Hong Kong in 2003.

Just when you thought flu season was over….

I went by the local hospital yesterday and asked them why they were extending the period for flu vaccinations. Normally flu season is over by the end of February, but this year, the CDC has extended the vaccination period to run through the end of March.
[cue spooky music]

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It ain’t cattle futures, but it ain’t too shabby

from Washington Times

The spring before his wife began her White House campaign, former President Bill Clinton earned $700,000 for his foundation by selling stock that he had been given from an Internet search company that was co-founded by a convicted felon and backed by the Chinese government, public records show.

Mr. Clinton had gotten the nonpublicly traded stock from Accoona Corp. back in 2004 as a gift for giving a speech at a company event. He landed the windfall by selling the 200,000 shares to an undisclosed buyer in May 2006, commanding $3.50 a share at a time when the company was reporting millions of dollars of losses, according to interviews.

Now, it is certainly possible that the Clinton’s reluctance to release their tax returns has nothing at all to do with this information. No one is saying that this was illegal.

But it sure doesn’t look good.

h/t Kearney,
also at the linkviewer

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's OasisSpeaking of the Linkviewer, I gotta say, this is a pretty nifty thinkamajig. It is a great source of news, however, I’ve noticed that a lot of it is just recycled headlines from Free Republic. But, there are also a lot of headlines and interesting input from pro-Israel bloggers that you might not see otherwise.

Certainly worth a look-see.

THIS IS the World Famous Friday Open Thread……..A Free Speech Zone.

WFFOT: To boldly go where no thread has gone before! (trackbacks welcome)

=====

Trackposted to Diary of the Mad Pigeon, Rosemary’s Thoughts, Allie is Wired, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, Global American Discourse, The Pink Flamingo, CORSARI D’ITALIA, , Conservative Cat, Right Voices, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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